8.06 "A Little Reflection"
"Hey guys, let's just combine the third, fifth and seventh seasons."
Is what the showrunners of Dexter must've said during their initial creative sit-down.
I consider this series latent with possibilities, rife with chances to give audiences an unrivaled viewing experience. That makes the disappointment of seeing Dexter slip into worn scenarios all the more gnawing.
The main concern surrounding this episode is Zach Hamilton, a fetal version of Dexter. Early in the going Dexter finds that Zach is a patient of Dr. Vogel — co-creator of the Code — and confronts his faux mother. She brushes Dex off for the most part, aside from suggesting that Zach might have a chance if Dexter teaches him how to behave like an appropriate and civil bloodthirsty psychopath.
Dex scoffs at the idea, and stalks his prey in routine fashion, even toying with Zach at the scene of a bloody crime. As he waits for evidence to build so he can slice apart the young killer, Dex turns to his problems at home. His relationship with Deb improves after she tried to drown the both of them in a Florida lake. They both admit the repairs will take time. Another problem lies in Dex's son Harrison's lying, a trait the little dude reveals he learned from his dad.
His corruption of his family bothers Dex, and casual dating isn't really taking the pressure off. Paired up with spectacularly normal Cassie, a neighbor-friend of Jamie Batista, Dexter reveals his inner side: sprawling emptiness. A schedule jam-packed with vetting targets and dumping bodies in the ocean doesn't afford much in the way of interests and hobbies. To a keen, hip girl like Cass this is impossible to hide. When Dexter runs into her again she politely brushes him off.
In a surprising trend, the side characters are alive and active, buzzing around the hive with all types of purpose. This clearly can't be the last season for all of them. That Deb spin-off is sure money!
- After hiring Deb to look into his brand new twenty-something daughter, Musuka messes everything up by trying to hand her a check. She storms off and he's dejected. Aw.
- Deb's boss at the P.I. firm wrangles her into an undercover case involving his sister's cheating husband. It ends with someone getting punched in the face. Deb, finally showing some maturity, recognizes that Elway has a big crush on her, and it's maybe a problem.
- Angel Batista does his job and promotes Miller to Sergeant instead of Quinn. Sister Jamie is not pleased. Tension!
Quinn responds to this by closing off loose ends and trying to catch Zach Hamilton in a criminal act, as for once, the Miami police and Dexter are neck-to-neck in their pursuit of a person. This results in a couple of awesome moments between Dex and Quinn that speak to the potential the show has, but only taps into occasionally.
After Dex gets enough evidence against Zach, he goes through the raucous routine and prepares to end this crazy person's young life. That is, until Dex detects genuine emotion in Zach's motives and cuts him free. Looks like he's got a protégé after all.
Yo, that ain't no new move, Dexter!
Remember Miguel Prada? The district attorney who manipulated Dex into teaching him the ways of serial killer? (He looked a lot like Jimmy Smits.) Remember Lumen? The rape victim that had the apprentice thing going on? (She looked kind of like Julia Stiles.) Remember Hannah McCay? The poison artist that appeared to be wifey material for Dex? (She looked…well, great.)
Dexter remembers. Because Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) totally shows up at the end of this episode. She put something in Dexter and Debra's drinks and the last thing we see is the two passing out. Maybe dying?!
It's been a sleepy season in general, with even the actors taking naps. Truthfully, the acting is what has propped up the mediocre plotting. I hear the second half of the season runs downhill; right now I hope it's more of a base jump.
Jamil Scalese is just like you — an avid comics reader and lover of sequential art. Residing in Pittsburgh, PA, he is an unapologetic Deadpool fan, devotee of the Food Network and proud member of Steelers Nation. Check out his original, ongoing webcomic And Then There Were Zombies and follow his subpar tweeting at @jamilscalese.